Local News

Who's To Blame For The Rise In Gas Prices

Posted April 17, 2001

— Gas prices is something many people are talking about these days. This time last year, people paid around $1.40 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. Today, that average price is about $1.59.

Mail carrier James Bentley is one of many people who are mad that the rapidly increasing price at the pump is pumping them dry.

"It goes from last week for $1.35 to $1.57. You have to actually look up everytime you pull in to see what it's going to be," he says.

Marshall Oil Company owns 20 gas stations across North Carolina. Kim Marshall, the company's president, says he knows who is responsible for higher prices.

"It's the guy in the service station or convenience store. They take the abuse for this problem every time, but in reality, gasoline has gone up almost 20 cents a gallon since the first of this month," he says.

Marshall showed WRAL his records. His records that indicate his prices have gone from $1.29 a gallon to $1.45 -- up 16 cents per gallon in 17 days.

"Every operator my size, including myself, is probably losing money right now. Historically, it goes up and down, and we just have to ride it out," he says.

Marshall says his prices are set by the big refiners who pipe gasoline into huge fuel farms. Retailers usually mark up the prices they pay from the refineries about 10 percent. They say much of that increase pays for transportation and expenses.

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